After last season’s crushing defeat against Pickering Town, Town were looking to set things straight. Few players remain of the team that fell to a 3-1 defeat against the Pikes back in April. Of that team only two started today’s friendly.
The game started out with Pickering in control. The Pikes looked dangerous with pacey runs down both flanks. Bridlington’s defence held strong through the first five minutes and steadied the ship until the rest of the team could find their rhythm.
It took only nineteen minutes for Town to break the deadlock. A silly challenge bringing down a Town player 10 yards from the edge of the box awarded Joe McFayden the golden opportunity to break the deadlock. Not opting to shoot himself, his floating cross met the head of Jake Day, whose thundering header soared past the stretch of Pike’s on-loan keeper Charlie Andrew.
With the game swaying into Town’s favour Pickering started to push forwards more. Jack Griffin was the architect of many of the Pikes’ attacks. It took until the 43rd minute for Town keeper Tom Jackson to receive his first real challenge. A great cross by George Bissett was struck hard towards the top-centre of Town’s goal. Thanks to Jackson’s quick reflexes the ball was palmed high above the crossbar.
The referee whistled for half-time with Bridlington deservedly in the lead.
As the second-half began the Pikes looked a refreshed team. Only five minutes into the half they were unlucky not to be back in the game, if it weren’t for an excellent tackle by Lewis Dennison.
A few minutes later Pickering’s Ryan Blott made his feelings clear to match referee Stephen Wade. Blott felt like a tackle warranted a free kick for the Pikes. After a long chat with the referee nothing was given.
Archie Brown started to show the flair which won him plaudits last season. After stealing the ball from a Pickering midfielder’s feet his mazy run past players showed the class that won him his place in the team. Unfortunately his pinpoint pass was met with a heavy touch and came to nothing.
Jake Day again found himself in space at the edge of the box and let loose with a powerful shot that looked destined for the back of the net. A fine save by Charlie Andrew didn’t get cleared away quick enough and found its way to Shaquille McKenzie who was charging toward the goal. His far-post shot went through two Pickering defenders on the line and the scrambling Andrew and crashed into the back of the net.
Town looked firmly in control of the game, when another scare came from Pickering. Turning his way past the Bridlington defence, Billy Logan’s powerful effort was one yard the wrong side of the post.
With Bridlington firmly in control of the game several fringe players from both teams got the opportunity to impress their respective managers.
It was Chris Adams who next came close to scoring. After making an excellent turn inside the box his shot was unfortunately wayward.
With nothing left to lose Pickering began trying to at least leave the match with a goal. Jack Reynolds came close to giving his team a consolation goal but his effort was just wide of the post.
Town found a lot of joy from this game by using the pace and strength of new signings Shaquille McKenzie and Nathan Modest. With a win bringing to a close the pre-season hopefully manager Curtis Woodhouse has ironed out any issues. The team has finally started to gel together after getting some important game time under their belts.